S. 1069 would direct the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to continue implementing the agency’s Digital Coast Program. Under that program, NOAA makes geospatial data, decision-support tools, and best practices regarding the management of coastal areas available on a public website. The bill also would direct NOAA to focus additional data collection efforts on underserved coastal areas, such as in the Arctic.
The bill would authorize the appropriation $4 million annually over the 2020-2024 period for NOAA to implement the program. In 2019, NOAA used $2 million of appropriated funds to carry out the program. Because CBO scores continuing resolutions on an annualized basis, in 2020, CBO assumes that the NOAA will allocate the same amount from funds made available under the current continuing resolution (Public Law 116-59). As a result, CBO estimates that S. 1069 would authorize an increase in spending subject to appropriation in 2020 of $2 million, the difference between the authorized amount and the annualized amount under the continuing resolution. Based on historical spending patterns for the affected grants, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost $16 million over the 2020-2024 period and $2 million after 2024 (see Table 1).
S. 1069 also would authorize NOAA to collect and spend fees, without further appropriation, for training, workshops and conferences related to the Digital Coast program. Any such collection and spending would be classified as direct spending. CBO estimates that the net effect of such collections and spending would be negligible because the spending would probably occur soon after any receipt.
The costs of the legislation, detailed in Table 1, fall within budget function 300 (natural resources and environment).
On October 10, 2019, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 2189, the Digital Coast Act, as ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on September 18, 2019. The two pieces of legislation are similar. CBO’s estimates of the cost to implement those bills differ because of differences in the authorization of appropriations in each bill.